A loan of $700 helped to build walls as he has a problem with damp, and to build a room in the back part of his house.

Rafael's story

52 year old Rafael is married and has 2 children who are 16 and 32 years old. He works selling goods that he promotes through special catalogs. He began doing this 11 years ago when he was working as a guard. He decided to combine his job with other work that would also generate income in order to support his family. In this way, along with his wife, he spent 5 years making chichi (a sort of fermented drink), and reached daily sales of 300 bags which they delivered to stores and people in the neighborhood. But, because of transport complications for their product, which they had to move from the city of Barranquilla to the La Playa urban area, they didn't continue and decided to focus on having their own home. So, they got some land where, little by little, they built the house that the own today. At first they built it of wood, but, little by little, they were able to build parts from cement and they left a space empty with the idea of having a store there. They sold family groceries there for 3 years but the proliferation of these sorts of businesses in the neighborhood obliged them to change their store to an ice cream place, which they then ran for 3 more years. However, the continuous theft of electrical wiring almost left them broke and they had to lease the store space so that they could have a more secure income. Then Rafael and his wife decided to sell general supplies and to link themselves to companies that use catalogs to promote their products.
Rafael also has 14 years of work experience as a guard and has his own clients. Always supported by his wife, he has been able to bring up his children. At this time, he is applying for a Kiva loan and this will be the 6th loan he has received through Fundación Mario Santo Domingo, an organization he has been associated with for 8 years and which has helped him to grow his business and improve his living conditions. With his Kiva loan, he plans to continue improving his home and building walls. He has damp problems that are affecting his neighbor and also will finish building one of the rooms in the back part of the house so that there is space for all the family and greater peace.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Alison Hynd

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